Marion Jones Sets New Pace with Documentary and Book

Marion Jones with director John Singleton
NBAE/Getty Images

The Tulsa Shock's Marion Jones paid a visit to the NBA Store in New York City Tuesday afternoon to promote her latest book, "On the Right Track." Prior to her book signing, Jones was also on hand for the premier of her ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, "Marion Jones: Press Pause," scheduled to air on November 2 at 8 p.m. ET. It was her first time seeing the finished product, and she promptly opened up to a Q and A session alongside the documentary's director, John Singleton.

Jones set aside a few minutes of her time to talk to about her book and the documentary. To read more, visit ESPN's 30 for 30 page. How much of an impact did this documentary have on you when you saw some of those pictures come up from when you were younger or some of the interviews and hearing what people had to say about you?

Marion Jones: Some of the interviews and people who have been a part of my life, to hear them say what it was like for them was hard, but it kind of [gives] a sense of closure because you see that it was hard on them, and they were disappointed, but they are still in my corner. You think that you let so many people down and that people gave up on you and then you realize after seeing that, those who have been in your corner all along are still in your corner. There were tough things to see, but after it finished I felt a sense of (pause)ÖI was inspired. (laughs) And itís my story. I had never seen the interviews by the kids. You know, theyíre in front of the camera and theyíre nervous and everything and you can see, but theyíre not reading from a script. Theyíre not making stuff up. What do they have to gain by making something up? And then you really see that it can help them, and it makes the tough parts in the beginning and everything, it makes it worth it. So you would say inspiration is the ultimate goal?

Jones: I certainly think so. The story, even if it was not my own, it would be something that I would embrace and that I would want to share with others in my family and my friends that, you know, if she can do it, anybody can do it. If she can be at the top of her career and be [at one spot] two years ago and now heading up that ladder again, then just because you lost your job, you can find another one. Just because youíre divorced, you can find your soul mate somewhere out there. Itís not the end of the world. You said before too that itís difficult to look at the video from when youíre standing outside the courthouse, but will there ever be a point where you can look at that and it wonít have the same impact?

Jones: No, because I very rarely watch myself on TV. If that is surprising or not. So itís even difficult to see myself, Iím very critical of myself when Iím being interviewed or even seeing myself on the basketball court or whatever it is, so I made it a point to never watch that Ė me on the courtroom, on the steps of the courtroom Ė and probably wonít ever watch it again because Iím all about now really moving forward. Yeah, I have to answer certain questions about the past, but anything else I can do to continue to look forward. Itís like, OK, you guys can ask me about it, but after you ask me Iíll be done with it and moving forward. No reason for me to go back and beat myself up. Itís done. It happened. Iím this way now. In moving ďthis wayĒ now, you just came off your first season with the WNBA. Are we looking at another one, two, three?

Jones: I really hope so. I really donít even think I even came close to tapping my potential. So having said that, Iím encouraged and Iíd really want to go for another run. I hope to play next season and find out if Tulsa wants me back in Tulsa. I hope so. Iím making plans to be back there and to try and improve my game more. I know I have a lot to work on. I felt that towards the end of the rookie season I was kind of finally getting a little bit of that back and I was finally getting the opportunity to get on the court and to kind of just show Nolan [Richardson] and Tulsa that I can contribute more so on the court than on the bench. (laughs) And I hope that they see that and that they see I still have a lot to learn but I can be an integral part of the team. The last few games is when you started to get some more minutes and points too. That struck me as a to be continuedÖ

Jones: Thatís a small part of the to be continued. I think that anybody that looks at this [documentary], if they really, really look at it how I think [Director John Singleton] intended for people to and how I hope people will look at it is that my story is not about sport. Youíre going to have the sports journalists and people who are going to focus on this part of it, but if you really look at the book or you see the doc or you hear me talk, people rarely hear me now talk about sport. Because you realize at a certain point in your life and after youíve experienced certain things, thatís not what life is about. It makes things more enjoyable. Iíve been able to travel and do things that a lot of people have never been able to because of sport, but thatís not my life. Itís something that Iím passionate about and I love it, but thatís not my life. Life is so much more about how can you help people. Are you just a solitary figure in life and nobody helps you so youíre not going to help anybody else? You get to that point that itís not about you anymore.